If the opposing forward is scoring every possession, change your
defense. If they're hitting the same hole every time, keep a man in
that hole a high percentage of the time until they prove they can hit
another hole. Move around on defense and remember which holes they
hit with which shots.
Blocking against the opposing goalie:
Listen to your forward--if they're trying to create a zone they need
to have confidence that you'll stay where they put you. If they
haven't said anything specific, stay on the shortest holes unless
you're absolutely sure the ball has passed over to the far side.
Move without the ball--keep your men on the same side of the goal as
the ball is on, or in front of the ball when the ball is in the center
of the court. Move without the ball even when your forward has it or
the opponent is passing. Get your goalie man angled back to dig out
angled slop from the corners. When slop goes in, remember how it went
in and over time learn to position your men to cut off common bounces
and dropped passes.
Take your time and don't just whack away. Use the whole field,
clearing up the sides as well as the middle-indeed, avoid the middle
if you're struggling. Vary the shot speed but keep the lateral motion
as fast as possible. Mix up short pull/push options with longer
pull-kick/push-kick options, and angle the ball on those kicks unless
you know you're faster than the opponent.
Once the ball enters your area, catch it! Keep the 2-rod angled
forward so that you can catch balls as they bounce out.
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Okay. Bear in mind this is all advice for beginners, some of these
defenses are going to get severely worked by pro-caliber shots (but
they're a lot more effective than racing or just rocking like a
Develop at least 2 defenses against each of the common shots you
see--pull and roller for sure, plus whatever else people there shoot
effectively. If only one person there shoots e.g a front-pin and it's
slow, just race it. If lots of people shoot it, work out some defenses
A defense should be random in it's movements--if you are just rocking
in time, you're easy to read. Occasionally stop or stutter for just a
brief instant. And try to spend most of your time in holes they
actually shoot at. In general, it's harder to read a split than a
beginner thinks (so if that roller is always hitting one side or the
other, you're guarding the middle too much).
Example pull defenses:
Standard shimmy--2-bar blocks the straight, goalie blocks the long.
Move them around quickly and randomly, keep the 2-bar on the straight
more often than not and the goalie in the long hole more often than
not. After they shoot a couple of shots adjust what their favorite
hole is (if they're hitting the 4-hole and can't go all the way long,
consider that the place to spend most of your time).
Reverse shimmy--2-bar on the long, goalie on the straight. Move as
above but not as long at first. The idea is to cut off the spray, this
is pretty effective against shooters who can't effectively square the
ball. Toes forward on the 2-rod when it's long but sometimes rotate
them backward when it's shorter (to cut off the splits).
Shuffle--move the men randomly across the face of the goal, either
standard or reversed. You can switch from standard to reverse once in
a while, but not often.
Example roller defenses:
Fast shuffle: block with the goalie in the middle and the 2-rod on a
corner, then shuffle 2-rod to center, goalie to opposite corner, go
back, sometimes switch the 2-rod so the other man is blocking the
corner, and keep shuffling quickly and randomly. Works against people
who shoot the longs but don't read the short holes well--the idea is
to keep 2 of the 3 primary holes (center, long push, long pull)
blocked at all times, so think of it as moving between those holes
Standard or reverse middle shuffle: Just quickly move back and forth
in a tight-ish patern on the center of the goal. Try it both with the
2-rod on the near side and the far side, usually have the goalie go
out longer in the pattern than the 2-rod. If the opponent can only hit
the spray to one side the 2-rod can cut it off (assuming you have
figured out which way they spray and have the 2-rod on that side).
Stint:move more slowly, keeping the men in favorite holes for random
periods of time before moving. Sometimes you move them into a hole and
then immediately move them elsewhere, sometimes you leave them there a
little longer. Good if you're good at guessing where the opponent is
trying to read.
Mongoose: Keep the goalie toed backward and the 2-bar forward and
shuffle randomly, again with the goalie going to long holes and the
2-bar going not quite long. Can be very effective against people
unable to read the split well.
Also, pick up telegraphs--if they rock halfway off the ball, they're
probably going to move toward where the ball is. If they suddenly set
the pull up way forward of where they normally set it, look for a
straight or spray as opposed to a square. Do they have a different
setup or grip for different options? etc.
And definitely watch for which holes they hit--most shooters have
favorite holes, you want to be on those most of the time.
Above all, if your defense isn't working then change it up--maybe not
a huge change but don't stick with something that they're clearly
comfortable shooting against.
Also, most of the time you don't want to cross the men (ie you want
the goalie between the men on the 2-rod). If you have the near 2-rod
man blocking the push side roller and the goalie on the other side and
you want to switch, quickly jump the FAR 2-rod man to block the pull
side. You'll get a feel for when to violate this rule eventually, but
at first you want to be pretty strict about it.
all your advice looks pretty good except for one thing.... your defence called
the (MONGOOSE)..... never tilt your goalie backwards or passed parallel... the
only thing that happens is the goal gets bigger and slop easily goes in off the
corners of your goalie man. good luck !!!!!!!
Remember this is advice for beginner goalies--I don't mean rookies, I
mean rank amateurs who can't block even bad shots. And against new
snake shooters tilting the 2-bar forward often means you only have to
cover 3/4 of the goal (or less) instead of the whole thing--it really
makes a huge difference. Against a decent shooter I agree that the
difference is much less, and I wouldn't do it at all against most
front-pin shooters (though there are a couple around here that can
only go pull-side, posting the 2-bar forward on the half straight/half
push works nicely as long as you're aware of when they're looking at
Dio, funny thing about that. I agree entirely in theory, and also in
practice against top-level shooters; it's a total gimmick defense.
But it actually works pretty well against a lot of snakes, and
represents something a beginner goalie can switch to if they're
getting torn up with real defenses. I have a couple of theories about
it (e.g. I think that if you're too far out on the corners and your
man is toed forward, sprays will go in behind him. Toing him back
takes those away). But mainly I think it's psychological, forwards
aren't used to it and with the toe back it looks like a huge hole over
there, and it throws off their timing on the holes.
Regardless, I wouldn't use it in a real tournament. I'm assuming
you've seen and toyed with it before, if not it's worth playing with
in a couple of funzie games. Either it works a million times better
than you'd think or it gets torn up, depending on the shooter.
But you're right, it's a bad habit to teach a beginner. I'll drop it.
It's also always horrible against front-pins and pulls.
>Things like: Blocking:
I have a good reputation locally for bringing out the best in a
lesser-skilled player by offering advice such as this;
"Listen, it isn't important for you to block "every" shot. I just want you
to get a decent percentage of blocks." (this takes some of the pressure off
of them right away) I have them look at the dome above the big box in front
of the goal and say " keep your men about an inch and a half (or so) apart
and move them between the two end points of the dome. Don't worry about the
corners, we are just blocking for percentages. The blocks will come to you;
I am more interested in you clearing the ball and keeping the ball in your
area when it hits the back wall. If you can't catch it, at least try to
> Blocking against the opposing goalie:
I usually ask them to cover the short holes and react to the long if they
see the shot going past the middle.
I usually let them shoot what they are comfortable shooting until they begin
having trouble or are turning the ball over. If they get into trouble, I
will suggest that they isolate a particular hole (one that I read earlier in
the game or match) and go for it when it is open. I would have them work
that particular option until another option opens up as a result. I always
try to encourage beginners and help them elevate their game beyond their own
expectations. I have won many tournaments with the "so-called" worse player
in the house. In fact, I got to the 5th game of the second set in the finals
of open doubles at the nationals with a "rookie-semi-pro" hehehehe
ps. I am no goalie :) but I did have a few beers at a Holiday Inn Express
Tom, yeah, this is key. I'll make it a point of emphasis. Thanks.
> I usually ask them to cover the short holes and react to the long if they
> see the shot going past the middle.
Yeah, this is pretty much what I meant when I wrote "If they haven't
said anything specific, stay on the shortest holes unless you're
absolutely sure the ball has passed over to the far side." but you're
right on here (and "far side" is too pull-centric), cool.
> I usually let them shoot what they are comfortable shooting until they begin
> having trouble or are turning the ball over.
This is good once you're at a DYP, or if your partner has some
semblance of a shot. We're actually hoping to help long-term
improvement and I think for beginners telling them to pick one shot
(or maybe two) and set it up every time is advice they need--don't
just shoot from wherever the ball is and don't try a different shot
every time. But yeah, your in-game coaching seems spot-on--I'm mostly
trying to give the true beginners maybe one key point at each part of
the goalie game that they can take away and work on outside of
Thanks for the reply
"RBar2170" <rbar...@aol.com> wrote in message